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Acoustic Music to Suit Most Occasions

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Album Review

Hearing this album for the first time, one is tempted, between the smiles and laughter it inevitably elicits, to label it as a cousin to Morris On — for those who don't recall Barry Dransfield's 1972 wild and woolly ride with Richard Thompson et al., the latter was a highly informal and delightful stroll across the English folk landscape that broke the few remaining barriers between folk, rock, and folk-rock. But Acoustic Music to Suit Most Occasions goes further than Dransfield and company, and in a slightly different direction and intent — the Deighton Family apply their mostly traditional instruments (OK, there is an electric guitar here, but it's amazing unobtrusive and, in fact, fits like a glove) to a brace of songs that supposedly put players like them on the sidelines in terms of popular music, and completely and convincingly make them over. The repertoire here includes "Travelling Light," "Matchbox," "All Shook Up," "Money," and "Blue Suede Shoes" — there are some more traditional numbers interspersed with these songs, which run the gamut in associations, from Elvis and Carl Perkins to Cliff Richard to the Beatles and, of course, Motown, but the main point of the album is that the Deightons can take any piece of music and make it their own — throw it back in style and approach 50 to 100 years and make it sound not only just fine, but like it always should have been played that way. And damned if they don't bring that point home 13 times out of 13 on this CD — whatever the source, it all turns into rural dance music, all compelling and all demanding of multiple listenings. Button accordions, tin whistles, mandolins, and bodhran never sounded cooler or smoother, the bandmembers' effortless, unaffected professionalism being the closest they ever get to artifice. A must-own record in any collection and any listening experience.


Formed: 1980

Genre: Singer/Songwriter

Years Active: '80s, '90s

An eclectic range of music serves as the repertoire of the Yorkshire, England-based Deighton Family. Led by father Dave, who plays melodeon, harmonica, fiddle and guitar, and sings lead, and, mother Josie, who plays acoustic guitar and bodhran, the seven-piece group blends Cajun two-steps, bluegrass breakdowns, folk ballads, blues and roots rock & roll into their infectious, good-natured, sound. In a review of their second album, Acoustic Music to Suit Most Occasions, released in 1988 and named National...
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